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Cheap, Healthy, Energetic: Dhal

Dhal is the indian name for lentils and how they are usually prepared is delicious! It is a very versatile dish, easy to cook, turns lentils into a colourful and flavourful paste, or porridge like consistency, full of benefits!

A magnificent source of nutrition, lentils are a good source of vitamin K, potassium, calcium, zinc and niacin, they contain particularly large quantities of dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron.

Lentils do however lack some of the amino acids required for protein synthesis. To compensate for this deficit whole-wheat bread or grains such as rice can be added to a meal to fully balance the proteins needed in a healthy diet.

  • Lower Cholesterol –  With high levels of soluble fiber adding lentils to your diet will help to reduce blood cholesterol. Lower cholesterol levels will help to keep your arteries clean reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Heart Health  Lentils are a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers homocysteine levels, a contributor to heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, helping with oxygenation and nutrient delivery. Magnesium deficiencies are directly associated with heart disease, so adding lentils to your diet will help to reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Digestive Health – Lentils contain high quantities of insoluble dietary fiber helping to prevent constipation and several other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
  • Stabilized Blood Sugar – Soluble fiber traps carbohydrates, slowing digestion as well as balancing blood sugar levels. This is particularly beneficial for those who suffer from diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.
  • Good Protein – Lentils rank the third-highest of all legumes and nuts, with regards to levels of protein. Twenty six percent of the calories in lentils are comprised of protein, Providing vegetarians and vegans with an excellent source of protein.
  • Increases Energy – Lentils are a good source of iron which transports oxygen throughout your body increasing metabolism and energy production, as well as providing slow-burning energy owing to its high fiber content and complex carbohydrates.
  • Weight Loss – Although lentils include all these beneficial nutrients like fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins, they are still low in calories and contain virtually no fat. One cup of cooked lentils only contains about 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full and satisfied.

For a basic dhal recipe, Google is your friend. The basic ingredients are red lentils (can be cooked with other varieties, red lentils are our favourite so far), turmeric, grated ginger, cumin seeds, chopped onion, sliced garlic, and most commonly added are tomatoes not just for the flavour but the sauce.

Many vegetables can be added and the recipe can be adapted to your personal taste, which is why it makes it such a great choice  as a quick, easy, healthy meal. Eat it with rice or bread.


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